Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wednesday Take Two or Wonderful Women

Here are some lovely ladies that helped inspire me to turn my frown upside down.
The Happiest Mommy on the Block has a present for you on her birthday.  She's extended the deadline for the Lia Sophia Birthday Party earring to Thursday night (3/28/13).  So like her facebook page and let her know: what makes you feel beautiful for a chance to win!
The Dr. and the Mrs. came to my rescue. Thanks Kelly Jo for explaining how to 'claim' your blog and get through the Reader debacle (Bad Google.  Behave!).  Now you can follow me at Bloglovin!

Verily's style posts are some of my favorite.  A whole post about sparkly cocktail rings?  Yes, please.
The Busy Budgeting Mama touched my heart today with her inspiration from Blissdom.  I love how she phrased the goal of her blog to be like the best friend down the street who is always there for support and to share stories and ideas.  See some resemblance?  Natalie and I have been asked if we are twins.  I don't see that much similarity, but I do think we look like cousins- which we are.

Have a good night!

Wednesday or Waltzing with Weather Woes

The weather is an outward manifestation of how inwardly I feel towards it.  Everything about it.  The lack luster 40 degrees, remnants of snow, the mucky slush and puddles, the overcast skies, the barren trees in shades of stale brown, the mostly dead grass...
On days such as today I search for inspiration for my mood.

This.  Is.  Happening.
Follow Waltzing In Beauty on Bloglovin'!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Questions of the Heart; Answers of Real Women Edition 3

Today’s edition to the series is brought to you by my dear co-worker and friend, Emily.   

Emily Barnes
Emily and her husband, Alex.

At work Emily and I are cubicle neighbors.  Our shared wall provided a perfect atmosphere for our growing friendship.  The wall is tall enough that you cannot see into the other’s office, but short enough to throw an emergency chocolate ration over with ease (we’ve refrained from this delivery form since a piece of chocolate took several weeks to locate).  Our wall also possesses a little gap by one edge due to the window sill and heat element, this lovely little spot provides enough space to pop your head around the corner for quick questions or school-girl whispered conversations.  Some days I don't know what I'd do without her.

Isn't she the cutest?

This blog exists largely due to Emily.  She is one of the main administrators of the My Year of Faith blog our diocese has created for the Year of Faith in the Catholic Church.  I am a contributor to the site; while writing my first post we had several conversations on being inspired to write our own blogs- something we both had thought about for a good while.  So we made it our new year’s resolution to challenge and support each other in this new adventure.  I am so glad that we did!

Questions of the Heart; Answers of Real Women

By Emily

What makes a beautiful woman?

She does.  It isn’t about the clothes, the accessories, the hair, or the makeup.  It’s more about how she acts and feels.  A smile is beautiful  If a woman is happy and confident, that is what radiates.   And we girls deserve to radiate, don’t we?   

What makes you feel beautiful?

My husband.  That may sound like a cop-out or too cheesy, but it’s true.  We haven’t been married very long, but we have been together for nearly six years.  He was the first male I can remember, other than my father, to tell me that he thought I was beautiful.  And that has made all the difference.  There are many days that I do feel it, but he always sees it.  And he makes it a point to tell me every day.  

 What has had the greatest impact on how you view yourself and encouraged you to be beautiful?

My understanding of fashion.  I know that sounds so backwards, but I have come to believe that what I wear makes a difference.  Growing up (mostly the awkward years), I really struggled with my confidence and image.  I wanted to be “fashionable” and fit in.  But, I still believed in modesty, which typical teenage fashion did not usually take into consideration.  Those were rough times.  But, as a entered college, I started to realize that clothes could be both fashionable and modest!  So, I began to wear less of my usual hoodie and jeans ensembles.  And, as I made that transition, I began to feel better about myself!  Today, I think I am a much more confident (and beautiful!) woman because of how I understand my clothing.  

 What is your beauty go to for the days when you feel anything but beautiful?

I try to put in some extra effort.  It may seem like an inconvenience at the time, but it ends up making all the difference.  It helps to boost my confidence and feel better about myself.  And, my confidence level influences how beautiful I feel.    

What would you like to share with other women to encourage them to recognize their value and to be beautiful?

We all deserve to smile more!  As women, we tend to worry too much.  Trust me, I am guilty of this too.  All that worry is just stealing our joy.  And, we deserve JOY in our lives.  So smile and be happy.  A genuine, joyful smile is always the most beautiful.  And, the best part?  Joy is contagious.  Spread the joy and smiles ladies.  We all need more of that!

Thanks a bunch, Emily!  You're the best :)

Read more from Emily at Raising Barnes.

Friday, March 22, 2013

7 Quick Takes or Highlights from a Week of Mondays Volume 7

TGIF!  One thing I appreciate about Jen's Quick Takes link up is the opportunity to remember the good parts of the week.  It reminds me how blessed I truly am.  So here are the highlights from my otherwise week of Mondays.

1.  This weekend two of my sisters and I planned a triple date with our boyfriends.  A good friend of mine was performing in a local production of The Drowsy Chaperone.  I was unfamiliar with this musical, but had heard good reviews.  It is super cute!  If you love musicals, like I do, you will appreciate the excitement of "The Man in the Chair" as he listens to his favorite musical The Drowsy Chaperone which comes to life in his apartment to cure his blues.  My favorite song, An Accident Waiting to Happen, was performed by my friend while he roller-skated blindfolded and described how his normal debonair self becomes a klutz when he's near his beloved.  Super cute feel good show :)

2.  A local furniture store was having a half off sale and I came home with this lovely accent table.

3.  Favorite quote of the week:

"Caring, protecting, demands goodness, it calls for a certain tenderness...which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness!" 

4.  I was recently introduced to the Moxie Wife and her Five Favorite Wednesday link up.  My plan to join in this week didn't work out, but I would have included my current go to earrings.

Rain Drops ...on roses and whiskers on kittens...

5.  My youngest nephew began walking this week!  Witnessing my nieces and nephews grow each day is such a beautiful gift.  So proud of the little guy.

6.  Remember to enter the Lia Sophia giveaway I'm sponsoring over at the Happiest Mommy on the Block.  Just like Melinda's facebook page and answer the question: What makes you feel beautiful?  Check out her guest post on my blog too!

7.  Happy Birthday (a day early) to my wonderful mom!  My mom is the best!  She doesn't mind a bit that we're hosting a bridal shower for my sister on her special day.  Can't wait to share the details next week!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Questions of the Heart: What makes you feel beautiful?

These five questions have been on my heart.

What makes you feel beautiful?
What has had the greatest impact on how you view yourself and encouraged you to be yourself? 
What is your beauty go-to for the days when you feel anything but beautiful? 
What would you like to share with other women to encourage them to recognize their value and to be beautiful?

We made it through the first question, now on to the second.*

What makes you feel beautiful?

The saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” is what comes to mind.  There is something so absolutely lovely about being beheld.  In that instant you are like Cinderella walking into the ballroom.  As she stood there it did not matter that she spent most of her life living in the cinders.  She just is.  And the Prince beholds her beauty.   

C.S. Lewis describes the love of the beholder as appreciative love.  It is the type of love that, “gazes and holds its breath and is silent, rejoices that such a wonder should exist even if not for him, will not be wholly dejected by losing her, would rather have it so than never to have seen her at all.”

That special someone comes to the door, just looks at you with smiling eyes, kisses your forehead and holds you - It is in moments like this that I feel the most beautiful.

Sacra Famiglia by Batoni
Just look at the face of Joseph!
P.S. Happy Feast of St. Joseph!  

 Dear friend, what makes you feel beautiful?

*For answers to these questions from other women see Questions of the Heart; Answers of Real Women Edition 1 & 2.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Questions of the Heart; Answers of Real Women Edition 2

Yesterday I introduced you to Melinda, the Happiest Mommy on the Block.  Melinda and I met through a mutual friend who also has her own home business.  Getting to know and collaborating with other women juggling family, work, and home businesses is such a blessing.  Everyone has their own gifts to share and wants the best for each other.

I admire Melinda for her holistic approach to health and life.  She sees the whole person, not just your BMI or to do list, but your personality, hopes, dreams and how you can live to achieve your goals in a healthy way.  Her view on beauty is no different.

Questions of the Heart; Answers of Real Women

by Melinda

What is makes a beautiful woman?

A beautiful woman is aware of her worth. She's confident, but not cocky. She loves others selflessly and loves herself just as much.

What makes you feel beautiful?

I put time into putting myself together before my husband comes home. The effort I used to make to feel beautiful when I was dating has to at least be matched by the effort I make now that I'm married. The simple effort of throwing on lip gloss and changing into real clothes helps me feel feminine, rather than frumpy.

What has had the greatest impact on how you view yourself and encouraged you to be yourself?

I surround myself with women I admire - women who I can draw beauty and strength from and emulate in my own way. I also love reading about women who have climbed mountains and now see the world a different way. I'm currently reading, "The Appalling Strangeness of the Mercy of God.," a biography of Ruth Pakaluk.

What is your beauty go-to for the days when you feel anything but beautiful?

A quick workout and a shower can turn me from Debbie-Downer into Pollyanna instantly. (And who couldn't use a few more endorphins?) A healthy body is an important piece of the Happiness Pie.

What would you like to share with other women to encourage them to recognize their value and to be beautiful?

You are a woman. Not a man, a child, or an object. Own it. Relish your feminine identity. Love yourself selfishly and everyone else selflessly. If you don't make time to take care of yourself, you won't have the energy to take care of anyone else.

Thank you, Melinda!

Make sure you check out Phenomenal Woman Health Coaching to learn more about Melinda's business in holistic health and sign up for her newsletter for tips on  living a healthy life. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patty's Day Giveaway

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

This week I am sponsoring my first Lia Sophia giveaway for Melinda at The Happiest Mommy on the Block.*  Melinda is a young wife and mother with her own business of coaching women to be their very best.  Her background in integrative health aids her in seeing each woman as a whole person (physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual) and finding ways to assist her in being the phenomenal woman she is.
 Melinda and I met through a mutual friend and I am so happy to be collaborating with her.  She was sweet enough to sit down for a written interview and to participate in my Questions of the Heart; Answers of Real Women series.

 Before you head on over to enter her giveaway, take time to get to know our lovely hostess.

What inspired you to coach other women?

Modern women find themselves in a really unique situation as the descendants of the feminist movement. Empowered and encouraged to build careers and compete with men for 'success,' yet our very femininity draws us to nurture -- most often within a family and in maintaining a home. As I approached the Motherhood Milestone, I realized more and more how much this conflict of priorities was really taking a toll on mothers, new and old. I've been given a gift through my background in natural nutrition and creating a balanced lifestyle and I pay that gift forward by helping other women, especially mothers, learn to take care of themselves so that they can then take better care of their families and their personal goals. 

What do you think every woman should know about her health?

A woman's body is an amazing, awesome instrument. From shape to cycle, it deserves every line of poetry and music that has honored and flattered its perfection. We are masterpieces, the final element in the creation story. We are also created with an acute sense of intuition. The happiest and healthiest women I've ever met have learned to love this dynamic duo - they respect their bodies and trust their intuition whole-heartedly. The medications, processed foods, addictions, and criticisms we are often battling will only numb us to that truth, and ultimately that happiness.

How would you describe your personal style?

If 'Ladylike' is a style, I think that's where I find myself feeling feminine, attractive, and confident. Style icons like Kate Middleton, Grace Kelly and Vera Ellen have always captured my attention and I recently became a regular visitor at

What Lia Sophia piece do you wish could be in your jewelry box right now?

The Golden Girl necklace and the Glitter Ball earrings are both going on my birthday wish list. I love that Lia Sophia offers beautiful jewelry that can either compliment an outfit or give it that special, finishing pop. Keeping high quality jewelry at a surprisingly comfortable price is a challenge, but LS has mastered the art of affordable beauty.

I’m inspired to start living a healthier lifestyle. Where do I begin?

That depends on you. Living a healthier lifestyle really has a different meaning for each and every woman, based on her health history and goals. The key is consistent, small changes. Health Coaches like myself are available to help you focus on specific steps to better health, and natural healing options. It's not as simple as "calories in/calories out," I offer consultations free of charge, as I want to make it as easy as possible to invest in healthier options for you and your family.

Thank you, Melinda!

Come back this week for Melinda’s edition of Questions of the Heart; Answers of Real Women.  

*The winner of Melinda’s giveaway will receive their choice of metal and stone of Lia Sophia’s Birthday Party earrings.  Studs are a wardrobe staple for their versatility.   You can dress these gems up or down depending on your outfit and other accessories.  Pretty jewelry is a reflection of your true beauty.  Who doesn’t want a little sparkle and color just in time for spring?

To enter the giveaway make sure you like Melinda’s facebook page The Happiest Mommy on the Block and send her the answer to, “What makes you feel beautiful?”

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